10 Tutorials to Take Your WordPress Development Skills to the Next Level

by Steven Snell

November 30, 2009 in Tutorials

As the community of WordPress designers and developers continues to grow, and as new versions of WordPress are released, there are more opportunities to learn different techniques and tricks that you can apply in your own work. In these 10 tutorials you will find strategies that should prove to be very useful in your own theme development.

1. Using Custom Taxonomies to Create a Movie Database

Custom taxonomies in WordPress are similar to tags and categories, but they provide almost endless possibilities. In this tutorial Justin Tadlock shows a practical use for custom taxonomies while working on a movie database website. He shows how to set up custom taxonomies for actor, director, genre, producer, studio, and writer. This will make it easier for visitors to navigate the site as they can click on the actors name and see all of his/her movies. Justin also wrote an introductory post to Custom Taxonomies in WordPress 2.8.

You can also find more about custom taxonomies in Chris Coyier and Jeff Starr’s new book, Digging into WordPress, which I highly recommend.

Using Custom Taxonomies to Create a Movie Database

2. Creating Custom Write Panels in WordPress

Spencer from Function wrote a great tutorial that shows how you can create custom write panels in your WordPress themes. An example use for this would be post thumbnails without a custom field, but there are plenty of other ways that you could use this to improve your themes. Spencer has also written a follow up to the orginal article where he makes some improvements the to code being used.

Creating Custom Write Panels in WordPress

3. Using Action Hooks in Child Themes and Using Filter Hooks in Child Themes

These two posts from Ian Stewart will help you to learn more about using child themes and customizations. Using the information here you can modify parent themes without impairing your ability to upgrade when a new version of the theme is released.

Using Filter Hooks in Child Themes

4. Automatic WordPress Thumbnail Without Custom Field

This tutorial from Pro Blog Design shows how to use DarrenHoyt’s Tim Thumb script and the theme’s functions.php file to automatically grab and re-size the first image used in the post.

Automatic WordPress Thumbnail Without Custom Field

5. Create Custom Single Post Template for Specific Posts or Sections in WordPress

WP Beginner shows how to create a custom single post template for each specific post, specific author, or a specific category. For designers or bloggers who want to use a number of different styles for their posts, this is a good option.

Create Custom Single Post Template for Specific Posts or Sections in WordPress

6. Design a Client Development Site with WordPress MU

Another tutorial from Pro Blog Design. This one shows how WordPress theme designers and developers can save themselves some time and improve the process of developing themes for clients. It uses WordPress MU to be able to work on multiple themes with various clients at the same time.

Design a Client Development Site with WordPress MU

7. How to Make a Control Panel for Your WordPress Theme

Cats Who Code has a nice tutorial that shows how theme designers can create a simple options panel that allows users to make some modifications to the theme. Control panels can make themes more user-friendly and reduce the need to edit theme code. Starscape also has a tutorial for creating a settings page.

How to Make a Control Panel for Your WordPress Theme

8. How to Show Related Posts Without a Plugin

Plugins are commonly used to display a list of related posts at the end of a blog post. This post at WP Recipes shows the code for getting a list of related posts without the use of a plugin.

How to Show Related Posts Without a Plugin

9. Display Thumbnails for Related Posts in WordPress

Still on the subject of related posts, Build Internet has a tutorial for creating a better-looking related post list that included thumbnails. It’s a customization of the Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.

Display Thumbnails for Related Posts in WordPress

10. How to Integrate Pagination in Your WordPress Theme

Pagination is a little more user-friendly than the default “next” and “previous” links. The WP Page Navi plugin is the most popular option, but this post from Cats Who Code shows how you can integrate it directly into the theme.

How to Integrate Pagination in Your WordPress Theme

For more WordPress-related content please see:

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About Steven Snell

Stephen Snell is the owner and editor of Vandelay Design.Connect with Stephen on google+

  • designfollow

    Nov 30th

    great list

    thank you

  • Destiny Islands

    Nov 30th

    Very nice work here, I love the tuts and WordPress is sort of my second passion.. thanks!

  • Maestro Geek

    Nov 30th

    Nice list ! Really good tutorials selected ;)

  • Marcell Purham

    Nov 30th

    Great list. WordPress is truly amazing and I’m blown away with how many things it can do :)

  • Frisco divorce attorney/lawyer

    Nov 30th

    Great sharing! Thanks a lot… definitely useful information.

  • Design Done

    Nov 30th

    Great list. Thanks.

  • Design Informer

    Nov 30th

    Well written article Steven. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Chris Robinson

    Nov 30th

    Nice roundup, Spencer’s tut on Custom Write Panels is what got me started in WP theme development.

  • Brandon Grainger

    Nov 30th

    Really nice list. Thanks for all your work!

  • Alex @ Dropshiparea

    Dec 1st

    Movie database with WP! Sounds unbelievable.

  • Daniel H

    Dec 1st

    When it comes to choosing a theme for your blog, you never find one that is all inclusive of everything that you like. Custom fields and theme frameworks like Thematic have forced me down the WordPress Development path.

  • DesignFellow

    Dec 1st

    Nice Post :)
    Keep up the good work :)

  • Anton Ranestam

    Dec 1st

    Thank you so much! : D

  • Jay Philips

    Dec 1st

    Awesome list, thank you for putting it together.

  • Andy Feliciotti

    Dec 1st

    nice round up

  • Michael Martin

    Dec 2nd

    Awesome collection Steven! The taxonomies post in particular was a great read, I’ve been looking forward to seeing a good example of the feature put to use.

    And thanks for including PBD! :)

  • elliot condon

    Dec 5th

    This is a goldmine! Thanks heaps, i’m going to look into each of these wordpress ideas!
    Cheers

  • Josh

    Dec 8th

    Excellent list. The custom taxonomies is completely new to me. :-)

  • asd

    Jan 26th

    Thanks for this article Steven. Nice work

  • Wordpress Developer

    Jun 18th

    #9 & #10 were useful , as one of my client’s project required it

    Thanks a lot Steven for making my life simpler :-)

  • LV

    Aug 8th

    Thanks for this article Steven.!!

  • leaflette

    Aug 28th

    Yup, a very list indeed, Thank you :)

  • wordpress customization

    Jan 6th

    A very helpful article.

    now a days, most of business and personal blogs are being developed in WordPress.

    The wonder is, you dont need to have any programing skills, still you can build as you want.

    Bye!

  • oem store

    Mar 2nd

    I just can not imagine with strong you blog greatly that save me Thank you

  • Aaron

    Apr 19th

    Thanks, this was quite helpful.

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